We all know that stress is bad for us. Not only does stress have long-term negative effects on our mental and physical wellbeing, but stress can also affect our work, attitude, sleep, productivity, and more both in our personal and professional lives. Avoiding stress, though, is easier said than done. Most jobs will have some level of stress involved, so how do we manage our stress when we start to feel the pressure?
Make Your Stress Measurable
The first step to coping with your stress is understanding it. When we feel stress, it’s usually based on intuition, meaning we’re not always fully aware of what is causing our stress. Keeping a work journal that tracks your workload and feelings can help identify when you’re most likely to feel stressed and what usually causes it. Data like this can identify signs of stress before you actually feel them, giving you a chance to prepare.
Communicate Your Needs
If you’re frequently stressed at your job, it may not be of your own doing. Your workload may be too heavy, work environment too high-pressure, or boss too demanding. Communicate your needs to your boss and your teammates and let them know how you’re feeling. If you’re able to identify the root cause of your stress, talk to your managers to find a solution that works for both of you. Gently bring up any issues with others or workflow that may contribute to your stress and suggest ways that these problems can be eliminated.
Build Healthy Rhythms
Feeling less stressed takes practice. Each of us has our own working rhythm, and sometimes, or daily rhythms add to our stress instead of relieving it. For instance, you may wake up late every morning and give yourself too little time to get ready, making you stressed before you ever get to work. Instead, put together a schedule that implements healthy rest-work cycles to ensure your needs are met but that your work also gets done. Hold yourself to this schedule when work is easy, and when work becomes stressful, you’ll have better habits to cling to.
Protect Your Boundaries
Sometimes, our stress is a result of us not defending ourselves. You might overcommit with good intentions, but letting down your boundaries always has negative results. Set boundaries both at work and in between your work and your personal life. Don’t waver on these boundaries. If people insist on your boundaries being broken, express the reason that they’re there in the first place. However, if you find that your boundaries are constantly under attack in your current role, you may want to consider another work environment… one where you will hopefully be valued more. Stress is an inevitable part of life, but having healthy coping mechanisms can make your stress much more manageable.
BP Dudley & Associates has assessments built to pinpoint the causes of stress within the workplace, both in everyday tasks and long-term business matters. This stress assessment has helped hundreds, and we’re confident it could help you, too.